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Hobbycraft emphasises the role of the store in its multichannel strategy

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Hobbycraft is to open more, smaller, stores as part of its strategy to grow online sales and multichannel services such as click and collect.

The crafts superstore business, ranked Top100 in IRUK Top500 research, said that total revenue reached £177.7m in the year to February 17, a rise of 5.4% compared to the previous year. Online sales were up by 22.7%. Earnings before interest, tax and asset writedowns (EBITDA) grew by 27.8% to reach £12.2m, from £9.5m last time. 

Multichannel model

During the year Hobbycraft opened five new stores, taking its total stores to 94 at the end of the year. It says it will continue to open new, smaller format stores in “relevant locations across the United Kingdom” during its current financial year as it looks to boost profitability and brand awareness. In-store demonstrations and workshops – last year attended by 100,000 customers – will continue to expand as the retailer looks to bring more shoppers into its stores. Hobbycraft stores, it said, “are fast becoming the social centres for craft in their local communities.” Click and collect services are also expected to bring more online shoppers into store.

At the same time the retailer said it would invest further in its online experience. 

Building customer relationships

Hobbycraft says that its Hobbycraft Club craft database also helps to support its multichannel growth. It had more than 3.9m members by the end of the year. Meanwhile, its social media community has more than 650,000 followers.

A focus on customer service, said the company, has increased its net promoter score to 86% from 82% last time, while colleague engagement is riding high at 90%.

Hobbycraft chief executive Dominic Jordan said the business was pleased with its performance over the last year. 

“We continue to pursue our plans for multichannel growth as we target our strategy to improve the broader appeal of our brand,” he said. “This is being achieved through leveraging our broad product range, which meets the needs of core hobbyists, families, and everyday makers, with continued focus on delivering value to our customers.

“Our focus remains on great customer service and colleague engagement as we seek to provide help and inspiration to customers in their local communities. Our in-store workshop programme plays a key role where our colleagues demonstrate their incredible knowledge and passion for crafting whilst helping customers with their projects.

“Looking ahead, whilst we expect the retail environment to remain challenging we are well placed to continue to execute our growth plans, with initial trading in the first quarter of this year ahead of the prior year.” 

Image courtesy of Hobbycraft

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